The interpersonal nature of suicide: A qualitative investigation of suicide notes

Sandra Sanger, Patricia Mc Carthy Veach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Prior investigations of suicide notes typically focus on verifying psychological theories about suicide motives. Fewer concern the interpersonal nature of suicide. This research investigated broad interpersonal themes related to suicide as revealed through suicide notes. This study was a qualitative investigation of suicide notes written by 138 individuals who completed suicide. Grounded theory analysis revealed seven interpersonal themes: 1) instructions; 2) positive relationships; 3) explanations; 4) relationship reconciliation/ maintenance; 5) concern for others; 6) negative relationships; and 7) acknowledging end of relationship. These themes suggest that suicidal individuals consider positive and negative aspects of relationships in their notes, and they attempt to maintain and reconcile relationships even in the face of death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-365
Number of pages14
JournalArchives of Suicide Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Interpersonal themes
  • Suicide completers
  • Suicide notes


Dive into the research topics of 'The interpersonal nature of suicide: A qualitative investigation of suicide notes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this